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Diabetes claims 10 lives every hour in Pakistan

Experts at a forum organised by the Department of Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education have said that diabetes is a growing disease in Pakistan and it is estimated that about seven million people in Pakistan are suffering from diabetes.

Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SHC&ME) Punjab Khawaja Salman Rafique and Danish Ambassador to Pakistan H E Ole Thonke inaugurated the forum where experts said that around ten people die of diabetes every hour in Pakistan.

It was shared that by 2035, the number of people with diabetes would nearly double to 12.8 million in the country.

The forum was joint effort of the Punjab government and the Danish government to fight diabetes and provide easy and free access to the public for treatment and medication.

Addressing the participants, the minister the Punjab Diabetes Forum 2016 would be a great example of the public-private partnership and would act as a milestone to fight diabetes in the province.

“This forum will help in identifying the strategies and way forward for better advocacy and awareness campaigns in Punjab against diabetes. It will also help in training and educating not only students and health professionals, including doctors and nurses, but will also create awareness among general public about importance of living a healthy lifestyle,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the Danish ambassador said, “Denmark has close to 100 years of experience fighting diabetes. We want to share this with Pakistan.

The public and private sector needs to join hands with all stakeholders in the health sector for overall public good. In Pakistan, the Embassy of Denmark is actively working with the federal and provincial governments as well as the private sector to address the increasing burden of diabetes.”

In his remarks, SHC&ME Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah said, “Improving healthcare system has been a priority of the Punjab government. We are aware of growing diabetes issue in Punjab and taking initiatives with the support of Embassy of Denmark in Pakistan for advocacy of prevention and control of the disease.

The encouraging factor is the belief of the provincial government in the public-private partnership model and the plan is to implement the same model in the healthcare system as well.”

Prof Faisal Masood of the King Edward Medical University said that there was not complete data found in Punjab on diabetes.

“It is estimated that more than 20 percent people are suffering in diabetes-related issues across the province,” he said, adding that only way to control this deadly disease was to change lifestyle and people should avoid eating fast food, soft drinks, oil, sweet items and meat, etc.”

He advised people to start daily exercise and follow nutritious diet charts, which would control diabetes related problems. He said a health proposal for public awareness would be forwarded to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for approval.

An ‘Action Plan’ was presented to the minister on the diabetes forum, outlining the activities for future training of health practitioners in Punjab, including doctors and nurses, and creating awareness in Punjab for the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Source: Daily Times

Byline: Staff Report

December 7, 2016

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